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Monday, March 24, 2014

Mens Jewelry: 7 Tips to Do it Right (part II in a series)

Marlon Brando

A few weeks ago I wrote  "Man Up and Wear Your Jewelry", in which I detailed a history of men and their relationship to jewelry over the past few thousand years with fun examples, both historic and modern. If you missed it, read that one first.

Note to readers: this is one woman's perspective, guided by my own cultural influences, (ok, likes and dislikes.) I am aware that different cultures view the wearing of jewelry differently. With this said, I have been gathering great examples of jewelry to highlight the tips I have been working on for those men who have always thought about it, but never quite saw themselves as the "type" of man who wore jewelry.  

My goal is to convince you that you are the type, because there is no type. 

Why should women have all the fun, (and they do), when it comes to accessorizing? I am hoping these few tips and examples will give you the needed push for when you see a piece of mens jewelry that is very cool, stylish, edgy, elegant,  but you just can't take that first big step. I want to free you from the wristwatch and wedding band and introduce you to a whole new world that originally did belong to men and women equally.

Just last month in the Wall Street Journal, I found an article on this very topic. It quoted Robert Bryan, author of the book "American Fashion Menswear," who makes several points that I could not agree with more:

"With men's jewelry, There are so many ways to go wrong." "Generally, silver is the safer choice", said Mr. Bryan, who also advised caution when it comes to decorative stones. "Gemstones should be small and discreet."

This is good! A very respected mens fashion expert has started us off with our first two tips!

Tip 1.   Stick with silver, which,  these days includes all tones from black to grey, with the various patina-techniques used. I expound on this tip a little and say, avoid gold. 
Well, I think of antiqued brass and copper  along the same lines of antiqued silver and all are very "manly", and most importantly, not ostentatious.

Oxidized Copper Chain Bracelet - Rough Magic Creations on Etsy


Tip 2. Gemstones. Well, just look at the last word of the above paragraph. 'Nuff said. Unless... you do something like this Lava Rock Bracelet, earthy, matte black, and very "all man"

Earth Energy Gemstones on Etsy


Another great choice with gemstones is Black Onyx, perfectly masculine and so well paired in this chunky man's ring:

Jewelry24Seven on Etsy, and Jewelry24Seven.com

Tip 3. Also touched on in the WSJ article,  is that for men, it seems more right when a piece of jewelry has meaning for the wearer; i.e. a piece passed down, a  family crest, military service, a fraternity or university. 

The Signet Ring Layered Over a Wedding Band - A perfect example, (just not on your pinkie)

9-11 Never Forget Pendant Perfect for a War Veteran - YourDailyJewels on Etsy.

Perfect starter piece  for a lifelong musician - Handmade Music Note in Recycled Sterling

Wearing jewelry with meaning is different for women, who can find jewelry to  love that is meaningful or not, bank breakingly expensive, or bargain basement perfect. I am one of those women who sees no reason to ever stop accumulating more jewelry. Whether I buy it, make it, or hope it is given to me, (the best, of course). This will be me one day.

Iris Apfel - by Bruce Weber

Tip 4:  Start with a wrist piece, such as a cuff, and add to it over time with a ring, or two, if you feel you can pull it off. It is best to take your time and add to your repertoire of jewelry, slowly over time.

Golden Brass Mens Woodlands Cuff - Capital City Crafts (also in Sterling)

Double Twisted Cuff - Travis Ogden - Dsma- Denver School of Metal Arts

Willow Creek Jewelry - Mens Copper Cuff Bracelet

Tip 5Mens jewelry should not look precious or new. Try and go for the "What?  I have always been wearing this." look .

You can't go wrong with any of the mens items here: SilverSmack (or Goldsmack) on Etsy

Tip 6. This is just in case you missed the part about the no gold or gemstones, and the subtle pinky ring comment: nothing bright or blingy. 

On the Artofmanliness.com website they go as far as to write " NO, Grills, anklets, toe rings, belly piercings, engagement rings,  or armlets.". I  think they must have a different readership than the Wall Street Journal's site.

To summarize Tip 6:  It must be masculine.

Also from YourDailyJewels:
Simple Sterling - Oxidized Ball Chain - worn plain or with a pendant

Tip 7.  Maybe most important as you start out trying new waters, its all about attitute. 

Silver "Lost at Sea" Compass YourDailyJewels - Celebrity Style

Manly company who wear this pendant: Leonardo DiCaprio, Sting,  Woody Harrelson, and
Edward Norton

Hand Carved Arrowhead  at YourDailyJewels.com

Claws, teeth, talons, and arrowheads are all perfect talismen to connect you to your Paleo-man roots.

Handmade Cast "to-scale" Wolf's Claw - Your Daily Jewels on Etsy - made to order

Hopefully these tips have given you a little push to go for that first piece of jewelry. Or to buy your guy his first piece of jewelry. 

Lets review the highlights: 

-->Stick to one piece to start, like a cuff-bracelet, (unless you're Johnny Depp or  Steven Tyler - then pile it on. Regular folk, maybe add  a ring or necklace over time.  

--> However you jump in, choose a piece that looks so natural on you that you can easily say "What? you never noticed this? I have had this for years!"

You are now officially the 'type' of man who wears jewelry.

Thanks so much for reading  (and hopefully commenting and sharing!)